There have been a lot of takes on the new season of Stranger Things. What It Meant, Was It Woke Enough, Was It As Good As Season X, Was it 80’s Enough, et cetera. These are all entertaining opinions to be sure. My own take on it is that it’s the best season yet, the characters have all grown and changed the way I expect they would in real life—and the writing is better too. Perhaps that’s because we know who these characters are now and we’re so invested in them. While I’m not as happy with some of the individual character choices as I’d like to be (Hopper was a bit more doofus-comical this season than I liked, and Mike was a dick to pretty much everyone) I thought their storylines were interesting, and I was happy to suspend my disbelief as far as possible to enjoy the action. In a cast as sprawling as this it’s hard to give them all something to do that’s integral to the plot but with a few small caveats they pulled it off.
By far the highlight of the series was the interplay between Steve, new character Robin, and our friend Dustin. Screenplayed has a great script-to-film breakdown of easily the best scene in the whole series, Robin and Steve having a heart to heart on the floor of a cinema bathroom after being drugged by Russian agents in a hidden bunker. This is awesome acting and HOLY SHIT THE FEELS. These two are easily the best comedy/drama pairing since Tracy/Hepburn and Ryan/Crystal.